Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review - Gone by Michael Grant



Date Started: May 19, 2017
Date Completed: May 25, 2017
Rating: DNF


One second, Sam Temple is bored in class, listening to the teacher drone on.  The next, the teacher is gone.  "Poof".  Everyone over that is 15+ years old has spontaneously disappeared, with no explanation.  Gone by Michael Grant is a dystopic YA novel with shifting perspectives, but mostly focuses on Sam Temple (aka "School Bus Sam").  Sam, along with several other kids, have discovered supernatural abilities.  Despite his good natured hero complex, the bullies rule this new post-apocalyptic town, which is bad news for Sam.  

Real talk: I absolutely LOVE a good YA dystopia novel.  I could not finish Gone by Michael Grant.  It's not that I didn't like the story.  The premise is fascinating and I was enjoying reading it.  It's the blatantly racist and ableist and hateful things that the characters, and in fact the author, said. 

It started with Edilio.  Poor Edilio.  I enjoyed him and reading his kind, interesting character.  What I didn't enjoy was the openly racist and hateful language that was directed at him.  The other characters, even Sam "the here" stood by and let this happen.  They said nothing.  I understand that this is a character, that Quinn is a bad person so he says things that are just plain terrible.  I get that.  What I this is unnecessary is all the slurs and derogatory language that is used.  It made me uncomfortable and it was hard to read.  There are many ways to portray that this character is bad or that he is racist, but this was not sitting well with me.

What really drew the line was the overuse of the "R-word".  This is not a word I am comfortable with hearing in every day language.  I tried to justify it, think that this book was published back in 2008 and a lot of people still used that word then.  But when I read the author's comments about autistic children being a burden, I knew I was done.  I don't care enough about these characters to power through the racist and awful and offensive language and author and I am upset that I ever paid money for this.

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